Journal Information
Vol. 45. Issue 168.
Pages 235-242 (October - December 2010)
Vol. 45. Issue 168.
Pages 235-242 (October - December 2010)
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Flexibility testing in young competing gymnasts using a trigonometric method: one-year follow-up
Alfredo Irurtiaa,
Corresponding author

Autor para correspondencia.
, Albert Busquetsa, Marta Carrascob, Blai Ferrera, Michel Marinac
a Departamento de Rendimiento Deportivo, Instituto Nacional de Educación Física de Cataluña, Centro adscrito a la Universidad de Barcelona, Barcelona, España
b Unidad de Deporte y Salud, Centro Médico de Esplugues de Llobregat, Consell Català de l'Esport, Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona, España
c Institut Nacional d'Educació Física de Catalunya (INEFC), Barcelona, España
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Introduction and objectives

The aim of the present study was to characterise the evolution of flexibility during a complete gymnastics season in a group of 15 young male gymnasts.


The gymnastics season was divided into three periods: general, specific and competitive. Tests were grouped according to: a) lower limbs (side and front splits, side and front leg raises), b) upper limbs (shoulder dislocation with a stick: anteversion and retroversion), and c) multi-joint testing (back bridge and adapted sit and reach test). A series of linear distances and anthropometric measures were introduced into the trigonometric formulae for indirect estimation of joint angles.


While the passive range of motion of the lower limbs improved between the last two periods of the season, active expression did not do so at any time during the season. The extension of the shoulder quickly and progressively improved throughout the season. However, the flexion of the shoulder only occurred in the first two periods. The adapted sit and reach test worsened the range of motion during the competitive period. The back bridge showed no significant changes throughout the season.


Flexibility progresses throughout the gymnastics season, based on different rates of adaptation, depending on the anatomical region analysed (lower limbs, upper limbs, or multi-joint testing) and the expression of flexibility developed (passive or active).

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